German Offshore Industry Expands

(Europe) Second-largest Offshore Wind Market after UK

German offshore wind capcaity installation overtook new onshore installation for the first time last year, marking significant potential for new breakbulk activity in the country's offshore sector.
German wind power federation BWE reports that a total of 1.11 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity was connected to the grid last year, with 160 turbines installed at sea.

“At the beginning of offshore development in Germany in 2010, only 12 systems with an output of 60 megawatts supplied clean electricity with the 'alpha ventus' test field. Ten years later, there are around 1,500 plants with a capacity of over 7.5 gigawatts. Electricity from offshore wind energy is cost-effective, consistently reliable and competitive,” a BWE spokesperson said.

Competition Mounts

The rapid growth over 2019 has driven down the cost of offshore wind and provided further momentum for breakbulk operators serving the North Sea area.

Across the channel in the UK’s North Sea sector, the first phase of the massive Hornsea 1 development was inaugurated last year, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

The project employs 174 turbines, each 190 meters in height and has achieved record low strike price. The multi-phase project is expected to deliver 6 gigawatts of capacity once fully operational.

20 GW Target
Pressure is now mounting in Germany to provide further support for its offshore sector to avoid being left behind. A consortium, formed of BWE and four other industry bodies, has called on the German government to launch a new auction to support the country’s 2030 target to install 20 gigawatts.

“Every further loss of time leads to additional job losses and endangers the international competitiveness of German companies. The know-how gained in the offshore wind industry over the past decade is an important advantage in international competition that must be maintained. We still need a strong home market in order to remain successful in the constantly growing world market,” the industry consortium said in a joint statement.
As Germany takes on the EU Council Presidency this year, a number of initiatives are underway to create a joint offshore network plan to meet a proposed target of 450 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2050.